Saturday, August 20, 2011

When They Start The Background - Just Be Honest

I know of a lot of folks who never made it through the selection process for becoming an International Police Advisor, or similar role for basically one reason.  They lie on their application, or they lie to the background investigator.  OK, I know that is really two reasons - but the reason is because they lied.  This is usually based on two myths: 1) you will not get hired if you have ever been fired, and  2) you will not get hired if you have had disciplinary actions against you in a previous job.

Let's start with myth 1.  You will not get hired if you have been previously fired from a job.  This is simply not true.  As long as you are honest, and as long as you can show that the firing was not for criminal activity or gross misconduct, then having been fired will not prevent you from getting hired on by a contracting company   However, if you wish to try to cover up said firing, or give fake contact information so a buddy can cover for you - you will not get hired by the contracting company, and there is a good chance no one will ever hire you.

If you have been fired in the past, be honest as to why you were fired.  You don't have to get personal or detailed, just be straight forward.  All background investigators know that people get fired for no cause or minor cause all the time in police work - especially when you are an "at will" employee.  Any attempt to cover up a firing will most likely get you disqualified.

On myth 2: you will not get hired if you have had disciplinary action in the past.  Once again, be honest about what ever happened.  Most cops know that often in one's career an officer has screwed up at least once.  There are those, and there are the disciplinary actions that were merely politically based, as someone had to "take the fall."  In most cases, if the action was completed and resolved, it will not disqualify you from being able to get a job with a contracting company.  Once again, if it is because of criminal activity or grievous ethical violations, maybe so.  Just be honest, tell the investigator what happened, how you were disciplined, and the final outcome.  Any attempt at covering it up will disqualify you from getting hired.

I hope these tips help you out, especially if you are a new applicant.  Don't buy into the myths.  Remember, whatever you do - stay safe!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Land Mines Know no Friend

I just read an article about how 4 Ethiopian Peacekeepers got killed by a Land Mine in the Sudan.  See the story here.  Sometimes when we work over seas, we get complacent about things like land mines. We hear all the briefings and safety meeting speeches.  After a while, if we don't see any mines, we may get complacent and careless.

Take care when you are in post conflict areas.  There is always a risk on landmines in these countries.  We need to remember to take care.  You know what to watch for - most of us that have had to work these areas have had all the training.  Just remember to Stay safe and come back home alive, and with all ten fingers and 10 toes.